Before I go any further, I just want to point out this is my own theory on the show How I Met Your Mother, anything I say doesn't necessarily mean it's true. With that being said, I have an interesting theory to share with you.
If you haven't seen the show How I Met Your Mother, I first and for most suggest you go see it, the humor in the show is top notch (in my opinion). However after finishing season 8 of the show a scary and daunting idea came to my mind, after seeing one of the last episodes. Note there are spoilers below so be sure to watch the episodes before reading on.
In the episode "The Time Travelers" are present Barney, and the future Barney trying to make Ted go see Robots Versus Wrestlers. In the episode I had a lot of laughs, however, once towards the end of the episode, Barney was never really there, and it was Ted all by himself feeling alone, because all his friends were moving on with their lives. Marshal and Lilly have a child, and Robin and Barney are getting married. So they are much more busy then usual. While all this was sad and such, I freaked out and realized they have done this before in past episodes, where one of the characters fantasize of something that isn't really there. However this isn't the theory I'm trying to point out, what I'm trying to point out is that Ted doesn't really have any friends, they are all in his head.
Before you go all nerd rage mode on me, just hear my theory out. In quite a few episodes Ted or other characters have had moments where they fantasize about something, that isn't really there, which could point out, it never really exists. So when finishing the season 8 my mind was going hay wired. Because Ted seems to get hurt a lot in the show, whether its his fault or not. However in the end things seem to work out with him, because his friends are there for him. Yet why are these episodes with them not really being their pop up ever now and then? Could it be that they don't really exist?
Ted always seems to be lost in what he wants, he always says he wants a relationship, with "The one". However he does run into these awesome woman, but in the end it never works. His friends usually have a part to play in that reason, or he makes a huge mistake himself. Ted always seems to not know what he wants for himself, or what he wants in a relationship. However his friends, are always there to comfort him. Your probably at this point are wanting me to get on with it, just hang on I'm almost there.
Teds friends however seem to reflect off, of what Ted wants. Marshal in a sense is like a brother to Ted, even though they are best friends, I think they would be cool with being brothers as well. Lilly is the motherly type, who always gives advice to Ted, and comforts him when he is hurt. Barney is the confident go getter in relationships, or anything in general, which in some cases Ted lacks, and probably wishes he had more of Barney's character. Finally there is Robin, its not surprise that Ted and Robin have had a crazy roller coaster ride for a relationship. She in many ways is what Ted always wanted in a relationship, he also in a lot of cases felt a lot of emotions around her. In a way you could say Robin is Teds feminine side, allowing him to get better with his emotions. Now to the good part of my theory!!!
My theory is a bit of two parts, and I will explain them. I believe in a sense that all of Teds friends, are actually his different egos. When certain things are happening in Teds life, he tends to go to a certain friend, sometimes he resorts to going to all of them. They in a way help him cope with life, and allow him to move forward with his life.
Now the second part of my theory is that Ted imagined these friends up, due to a lack of childhood, or relationships he had in the past. Which is why he made up all these friends, they aren't perfect, but they help Ted cope with his life. Towards the end of "The Time Travelers" Ted comes to realization that he can't always rely on his friends to be by his side, sometimes he would have to be alone. Perhaps this is Teds own personal way of letting go of these made up friends, or alter egos.
Well thats my theory, its a very crazy one; I'll give you that. Its just for fun, so what do you think? Could Ted be imagining Barney, Marshal, Lilly, and Robin up? Give me your thoughts in the comment section below :)